Barker Wins Totnes Vire Stage Race

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First Season win for Barker in Totnes Vire Stage Race

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Event: 2/5/2010; Posted May 4, 2010; Report by Jack Baker

Yanto Barker (Pendragon) takes his first win of the year at the Totnes Vire Stage Race

Above: A race slideshow from Ann Owens

The 4th May saw the 38th edition of the Mid Devon Cycling Club's Totnes-Vire Cycling Road Race take place in the South West. To the club's delight, the multi-stage race saw the return to Devon of the Velo Club du Bocage (a local French Club).

The 2 day race was originally set up in 1973 to celebrate the twinning of Vire and Totnes. This year Mid Devon was honoured to be asked to include the George Drewell Memorial into the race at the request of nephew Simon Breakwell. George was an exceptional rider who regularly raced against Colin Lewis, president of the club.

Stage 1
Stage one of the race saw the riders race the Time Trial. Due to traffic lights from road works, the course was amended slightly making the course slightly longer than the 3.5 miles originally intended. The course followed the river for most of the way and finished on a mile long climb back up to Chumleigh.

Unfortunately for the last 15 riders, they had to endure a deluge. For the rest it was just spots of rain that they had to contend with. Joint winners of the Time Trial were Rhys Lloyd of Pendragon/Le Col and James Mclaughlin of Guernsey in a time of 9 minutes 31 seconds. They were a good 10 seconds faster than the next rider - Marcin Biablocki of Willier/Big Maggys/Prendas. Just a second slower was Gary Chambers of South Fork Racing. While fifth went to Grant Bayton, again of Willier/Big Maggys/Prendas.

1= James McLaughlin Guernsey  9m 31s
1= Rhys Lloyd  Pendragon  9m 31s
3. Marcin Bialoblocki Big Maggys  @ 10 s

Stage 2
 The second stage official start began just beyond Eggesford Fourways after riding neutrally from the HQ at Chumleigh Hall. Despite damp roads, there was no rain for the duration of the race. The greasy roads were taken well by the riders and no injuries were to be had. From the start, aggressive moves were made as riders sought to dominate the race.

Keiran Friend (Pendragon/Le Col) and Matt Rowe (Willier/Big Maggys/Prendas) broke away and were leading by 27 seconds within the first 10 minutes of the move. However another seven  minutes and they were swallowed up by the bunch again.

In the lap that followed, several more attempts were made. However the bunch was going strong and any attempts made were caught quickly. At the start of lap 2 though, headway was made with 4 riders (Yanto Barker Pendragon/Le Col, Gary Chambers South Fork Racing, James Williams Pendragon/Le Col and Grant Bayton Willier/Big Maggys) pushing off the front.

They quickly gained time and got to an advantage in excess of 30 seconds just before the prime. However the unrest for the prime (which was won by Bayton) broke their efficient sharing of the work. As they approached the beginning of lap 2, the group was caught.

After about an hour of racing, fatigue was beginning to set in. As a couple drifted off the back,  another breakaway attempt was made. Another group of four managed to make a steady advantage of about 16 seconds. The group had just enough time gap to have the prime amongst themselves before they were once again caught by the main bunch.

As the race progressed to lap 3, unrest grew in the main bunch as the race was nearing its end. More attempts to breakaway and take the win were made. Just as obstinate though was the main bunch itself, dragging back any attempt before it had the chance to reach an advantage of over about 20 seconds.

One promising break had gained 10 seconds by the third and final time past Eggesford Cross. In spite of the rider's frantic pace, he was caught by the bunch on rounding the final corner on Leigh Cross.

On the final drag up Leigh Road, James Mclaughlin of Guernsey broke through and off the front of the bunch. Rhys Lloyd (Pendragon/Le Col) took advantage of the move and followed. Mclaughlin's bold move and solid effort up to the finish won him the race. He closely followed by Lloyd who was just a bike length behind.

Just milliseconds behind came Yanto Barker (Pendragon/Le Col). With a three second bonus from a second in the prime, he had the fastest overall time of the stage. Marcin Biablocki (Willier/Big Maggys/Prendas) followed 6 seconds later. Five seconds after him was Anthony Bode of Velo Club du Bocage, highest placed French rider of the stage. Finally Alex Higham of Windymilla/Maxifuel led the bunch through to take sixth.

1 James Mclaughlin Guernsey  2h 20m 46s
2 Rhys Lloyd  Pendragon
3 Yanto Barker  Pendragon  same time

Stage 3
The third stage of the Totnes - Vire was most certainly an eventful one with the wind strong enough to be blowing the airport wind sock horizontal. It was to be a hard day for the riders. They were pushing hard throughout to try and weed out some of the less prepared competitors.

After an unsuccessful early break on passing the airport, the riders were keen to try again. By the time they had crossed the A30, a more aggressive attack went in. This led to two strong riders off the front. Will Bjergfelt of Willier/Big and Chris Opie (Pendragon Le Col).

The pace of these riders was unmatched at this early stage in the race and despite their best efforts,  the bunch were unable to claw back the duo. The end result was dissarray in the main bunch as chasing groups formed and were swallowed up rapidly.

On top of this the two in front were setting a frantic pace and by the Exter Inn on the second lap they had gained 1 minute 18 seconds. After many attempts, another fairly steady three man group is formed.  Consisting of Jamie Howard (, Blake Pond  (South Fork Racing) and Grant Bayton (Willier/, they managed to get 30 seconds ahead of the main bunch.

Meanwhile the duo in front were pushing in at 1 minute 30 seconds ahead of the bunch into the third lap.

Feeling the pressure, the bunch began to push hard. They began picking up the pace and eating time into the trio just infront. As the gap closed a new break began to form, again of three riders. With many riders seeing the make or break race opportunity, the group grew. Eventually 10 riders bridged the gap to make the three into a group of 13. They were later joined by another four to make 17.

Seeing yet more inefficiencies in the group, yet another group of six pulled away from this group. The rapid pace of the breakaway meant two riders were dropped quickly leaving four, Yanto Barker (Pendragon/Le Col), Matt Rowe (Willier/Big, Mark Perry  (Willier/Big and Marcin Biablocki (Willier/Big

Working with three riders from the opposing team, Barker was in for a hard time. Pushing through to lap 5 - first of the shorter laps - they began the task of dragging in the two leaders. The pair now had a lead of 1 minute 35 seconds. Meanwhile the riders with still something left in their legs, formed another group of seven chasers. This group consisted of those who hadn't quite made it into the group of four.

The race was getting closer to its end and the group of four made good headway and took back 50 seconds of  the two leaders with 18 miles to go. Just a few miles later, the time check came with the group of seven a minute down on the four chasers.

By the last lap, the leading pair had been caught and the pace then reached its climax in anticipation for the final sprint. It was close. Leading out, Barker managed to just steal victory from Marcin Biablocki with a strong sprint. The two were closely followed by Will Bjergfelt, despite having utterly spent himself in the two man break. Anthony Bode once again put in a solid ride to place him 8th of the stage and 9th overall. This awarded him as the highest placed French rider.

1 Yanto Barker  Pendragon  2h 52m 11s
2 Marcin Bialoblocki Big Maggys  same time
3 Will Bjergfelt  Big Maggys  @ 4 s

Final Overall
1 Yanto Barker  Pendragon  5h 22m 45 s
2 Marcin Bialoblocki Big Maggys  @ 5 secs
3 Will Bjergfelt  Big Maggys  @ 7 secs

More results at the bottom of the page

Report from Pendragon Sports

Yanto Barker took his first win of the season at the Totnes Vire two day stage race as the winning streak for Pendragon - Le Col – Colnago continued.  Pendragon was up against it from the start with a nine strong team from Willier - Big Maggies set against just six from the South West based squad. The race organiser Mid Devon CC were also playing host to French team Velo Club du Bocage which added a sprinkling of Galic flair to the proceedings.

Day 1, Stage 1 TT
The first stage stage being a 4.6 mile time trial with a long uphill finish, saw joint leaders emerge - Pendragon’s Rhys Lloyd and James McLaughlin of Guernsey. Barker finished 11th on stage one with main rival Marcin Bialoblocki of Willier 15 seconds ahead of him in third.

Day 1, Stage 2
This was an uneventful stage controlled by Pendragon and Willier which resulted in any moves being neutralised with James McLaughlin taking the stage ahead of Rhys Lloyd of Pendragon.

Day 2, Stage 3
This proved to be the crucial stage with four ascents of Aylesbeare Hill with its long climb and false flat. Chris Opie and Will Bjerfelgt got away very early and stayed out front until the finishing circuit. They were then caught by a group with the final selection consisting of five Willier and three Pendragon Riders. Rhys Llloyd, having made big effort to get across and join the front group earlier, was left behind as the attacks started going and it was left to Opie and Barker to slug it out against Willier.

Barker out sprinted Bialoblocki to take the stage win and overall after the Polish Wiler/BigMaggys/Prendas rider was docked 10 seconds by the chief comm for throwing away his bidon in the final mile. Chris Opie secured 4th place and won the George Drewel Trophy for most aggressive rider.

Photos by Ann Owens


1= James McLaughlin Guernsey  9m 31s
1= Rhys Lloyd  Pendragon  9m 31s
3. Marcin Bialoblocki Big Maggys  @ 10 s
4. Gary Chambers South Fork  @ 11 s
5. Grant Bayton  Big Maggys  @ 13 s
6. Colin Parry  VC Montpelier @ 21 s
7. Chris Opie  Pendragon  @ 22 s
8. Phil Borrett  Team Tor 2000 @ 23 s
9= Matt Rowe  Big Maggys  @ 24 s
9= Alex Higham  Wyndymilla  @ 24 s
11. Yanto Barker  Pendragon  @ 25 s
12. Mark Perry  Big Maggys  @ 27 s
13. Josh Hunt  Mid-Devon CC @ 28 s
14= Blake Pond  South Fork  @ 29 s
14= Keiran Frend  Pendragon  @ 29 s

STAGE 2 – 100 kms
1 James Mclaughlin Guernsey  2h 20m 46s
2 Rhys Lloyd  Pendragon
3 Yanto Barker  Pendragon  same time
4 Marcin Bialoblocki Big Maggys  @ 6 s
5 Anthony Bode VC Bocage (Fr) @ 11 s
6 Alex Higham  Wyndymilla  @ 24 s
7 Rowan Marshall Port Talbot Whs
8 Josh Hunt  Mid-Devon CC
9 Keiran Frend  Pendragon
10 Will Bjergfelt  Big Maggys
11 Aurelien Le Maistre VC Bocage (Fr)
12 Jake Durant  Mid-Devon CC
13 Gareth Hewitt Team Frezza
14 Grant Bayton  Big Maggys
15 Richard Wilkinson Team Pro Bike Kit all same time as 19 others

STAGE 3 – 105 kms
1 Yanto Barker  Pendragon  2h 52m 11s
2 Marcin Bialoblocki Big Maggys  same time
3 Will Bjergfelt  Big Maggys  @ 4 s
4 Matt Rowe  Big maggys  @ 18 s
5 Chris Opie  Pendragon  @ 32 s
6 Mark Perry  Big Maggys  @ 38 s
7 Rhys Lloyd  Pendragon  @ 3m  30 s
8 Anthony Bode VC Bocage (Fr) same time
9 Gareth Hewitt Team Frezza  @ 3m 39 s
10 Josh Hunt   Mid-Devon CC @ 3m 46s
11 Grant Bayton  Bid Maggys  same time
12 Alex Higham  Wyndymilla  @ 4m 27 s
13 Keiren Frend  Pendragon  same time
14 Richard Wilkinson Team Pro Bike Kit @ 5m 1 s
15 Ben Luckwell  Big Maggys  same time

GENERAL CLASSIFICATION (with all sprint bonus & time penalties included)

1 Yanto Barker  Pendragon  5h 22m 45 s
2 Marcin Bialoblocki Big Maggys  @ 5 secs
3 Will Bjergfelt  Big Maggys  @ 7 secs
4 Chris Opie  Pendragon  @ 43 s
5 Mark Perry  Big Maggys  @ 1m 8s
6 Matt Rowe  Big Maggys  @ 1m 47s
7 Rhys Lloyd  Pendragon  @ 3m 13 s
8 Grant Bayton  Big Maggys  @ 4m 2 s
9 Anthony Bode VC Bocage (Fr) @ 4m 13 s
10 Josh Hunt  Mid-Devon CC @ 4m 19s
11 Gareth Hewitt Team Frezza  @ 4m 24 s
12 Alex Higham  Wyndymilla  @ 4 m 56 s
13 Keiran Frend  Pendragon  @ 5m 11 s
14 Ben Luckwell  Big Maggys  @ 5m 44 s
15 Phil Borrett  Team Tor 2000 @ 5m 54 s
16 Richard Wilkinson
17 Chris Spence
18 James Dobbin
19 Gary Chambers
20 Nigel Williams